RealManage Insight

What Is The Definition of a Condominium?

by Jennifer Harvey on Jul 26, 2022 1:30:00 PM

When looking for the perfect home, it's important to consider all the options available in today's real estate market. While single-family homes are often a good match for certain stages of life, many people find that another option such as a condominium more closely fits what they truly need and want. 

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If you’re interested in learning more about condominiums, you’ve come to the right place. Legally, the definition of a condo varies by state but we will discuss the general differences. Read on to learn about condos as well as some of the benefits of living in one. 

What Is a Condominium?

Most people have heard of the term "condominium" and know it refers to some type of housing, but have never explored the concept any further. A condominium, or "condo" for short, is a type of housing that blends the best of private homeownership and shared community living.

Owning a condo means owning your ‘unit’ and jointly owning a percentage of the common spaces. 

What is different about condos vs. traditional homeownership is that condo owners jointly own the common areas and amenities instead of the association owning them.  This may include an outside hallway, landscaping around all the condo units, land under the buildings, garage areas, and perhaps even a common pool that everyone shares.

Condos come in a variety of forms, from those found in high-rise buildings to semi-detached homes that operate much like duplex homes. There are also stand-alone (wholly detached) condo units that essentially have the look and feel of a single-family residence.

How Condominiums Differ From Other Housing Options

The key difference between condominium living vs. living in an apartment or renting a duplex or single-family resident is ownership.

A condo owner is just that. An owner. Condo owners are free to do as they please with their condo's interior (including a complete remodel if they like). Some condos will require that the owner get architectural review approval first.  

They're also often responsible for typical interior home repairs such as plumbing or electrical issues. What condo owners don't have to concern themselves with is maintaining the outdoor grounds upon which their condo resides, as well as any community areas they share with other condo owners. 

The Benefits of Owning a Condominium 

Many people think their only housing options are renting an apartment or home, or buying a single-family residence. While these options may be suitable for some, other people may find they can greatly benefit from housing that is a blend of both lifestyles.

Streamlined Living 

Owning a condominium is ideal for busy professionals and those who travel a lot. The idea of being able to modify/decorate the interior of a home to suit their personal tastes, without having to set aside large amounts of time to attend to outdoor landscaping, pool maintenance, etc. is a very attractive option for people with busy lifestyles.

Less Physical Work 

Condos are also a great option for empty nesters and retirees. Many condos are as big as a single-family home, meaning there's plenty of space for everyone when children and grandchildren come to visit. 

When it comes to performing some of the more difficult tasks associated with homeownership, such as regular lawn maintenance, pool repair, exterior security component repair, etc., the older condo owner can rest assured that someone else is handling those tasks.

Financial Advantages 

When a person or a couple rents their home, they don't receive any financial compensation after their lease is over. In addition, for young individuals or couples just starting out, it can be very difficult to save enough money to buy that first home.

Condos are usually less expensive than single-family residences, both in terms of the mortgage and associated taxes. Lower expenses may allow people who aren't quite ready to own a traditional single-family home, to move beyond mere renting to invest in owning a condo. 

Takeaway

Having a multitude of housing options to choose from, allows individuals and couples to find a space that truly says "home" to them. Owning a condo that fits one's unique needs, both aesthetically and financially, may very well be the perfect option.     

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